A plea for a confirm dialog in "Change Text"

I find myself downloading countless references in which accented letters (usually in French and German) are replaced with the copyright sign followed by another character. I would like to make the necessary replacements easily, but I find that the Change Text option is awfully dangerous to use because the character combinations that replace the accented letters are curiously not consistent. EndNote X2 does not give the choice of approving each replacement, as in any word processing software; it simply cancels the operation if you do not agree to the replacements. It seems to me that a confirmation dialog is essential. Being able to select the fields in which the replacement should be done would also be helpful rather than performing the replacements field by field (if one is not bold enough to choose “any field”).

Furthermore, the Change Text dialog should remember one’s previous entries instead of forcing the user to type them again.

It seems that the real challenge here is that “downloaded references in which accented letters (usually in French and German) appear garbled or corrupted in EndNote” - which is a fairly common discussion on this forum. This will be vastly improved in the upcoming version X3. We have added logic that allows EndNote to be more intelligent about trying to decipher the encoding used by the source database. The standards and specifications for these encodings are typically quite vague so currently we have EndNote default to a particular encoding - one for Windows and one for Macintosh. With X3, this will be much better - particularly for Unicode/UTF 8 encoded files.

It would be helpful to know the specific source databases that most often result in garbled characters when downloaded to EndNote. I will be sure to have the team test with these sites.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you prefer.

Jason Rollins, the EndNote team


I am glad to learn that the treatment of accented characters will be improved hope that X3 will not be too long in coming forth.

The sources I have been using are the University of Toronto’s catalogue and the RILM (Répertoire international de littérature musicale) on ProQuest. With the UofT catalogue, when I search for Bulow (meaning Bülow), all the instances of the name appear as B©*low. (Another example is that that the letter ä comes out as ©Þ.) In a copy of my database, I tried to replace all instances of ©* with ü in all fields, but ended up replacing much more than I expected, due to some apparent inconsistency in the databases. This is why it is much safer to proceed one field at a time, and even more so to confirm each replacement.

Thanks - we will look at those as possible test examples.

The EndNote “Change Text” command does include a confirm dialog - see attached.

Beyond this, are you requesting a confirm for each individual instance of the change? 

Jason Rollins, the EndNote team


Of course, I mean the option to respond Yes or No to each occurrence. In the citations I was working on earlier, I just noted that the combination ©* applies to more than one accented letter, which makes it all the more essential to confirm each replacement.

You can amend the U Toronto connection file so that it imports diacritics correctly.

Click on Edit>Connection Files>Open Connection Manager.

Select U Toronto and click on the Edit button.

When the edit window opens, click on “Connection Settings” in the left-hand panel.

When the settings are displayed, go to the “Text” box and use the drop-down menu to select Unicode (UTF-8).

Close the window and save the changes.

This will work with some connection files (assuming that the database supports Unicode). With other connection files it’s more complicated, because you need a different server name or database name.

For example, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France uses a different database name for Unicode. You can download a unicode connection file for the BnF from our website.

Message Edited by johneast on 04-16-2009 08:49 PM

I worked again with citations downloaded from RILM (using CSA Illumina, not ProQuest, as wrongly mentioned in my post) and, contrary to the procedure suggested by my university library, used “Unicode (UTF-8)” instead of “No translation” once in EndNote and preparing to import, and citations from RILM (which is very strong in non-English material) imported gracefully. I’ll set the file UofT file to Unicode, as part johneast’s suggestion.